In Performance: Jim Findlay’s Botanica Feb 1-25, 2012 (NYC)

© Paula Court

Jim Findlay
BOTANICA 
3LD Art & Technology Center (80 Greenwich St., New York City)
2/1-25/2012

© Paula Court

BOTANICA explores our complicated and inextricably dependent relationship to plant life, presented as a creepy futuristic black comedy where morals, ethics, and consequences unravel along with the human sense of mastery. Primary sources for Botanica include erotic literary texts by French Surrealists George Bataille and Louis Aragon, the pop-psychology of The Secret Life of Plants (a 1973 book by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird that was made into a controversial documentary film in 1979 by Walon Green), and the ground-breaking scientific inventions and experiments of Jagadish Chandra Bose (1858-1937).

The narrative of BOTANICA tracks the scientific experiments and the developing relationship between two botanists who are sealed in a research facility — a human terrarium. They share their habitat with the janitor/plant caretaker, who seems unremarkable except for his curious habit of reading aloud to the plants late at night the most salacious sections of books by Bataille and Aragon, along with his own self-penned blue poetry. Initially the experiments seem to demonstrate an astonishing scope of plant consciousness, but eventually the botanists hit a dead end. They decide to bring the janitor into their research. The introduction of this human subject reinvigorates their investigation but leads to unforeseen consequences and unleashes a flood of unusual findings that end in chaos as the constraints of science and social norms are overturned.

www.thisisbotanica.com

DIRECTED BY JIM FINDLAY
WRITTEN BY JEFF JACKSON and JIM FINDLAY
PERFORMED BY ILAN BACHRACH, CHET MAZUR and LIZ SARGENT
SET – PETER KSANDER
LIGHTING + VIDEO – JEFF SUGG
COSTUMES – NORMANDY RAVEN SHERWOOD
COMPOSER – JIM DAWSON
SOUND – JAMIE MCELHINNEY
PLANTS – ROB BESSERER
ASST. DIRECTOR/STAGE MANAGER – MAURINA LIOCE
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – JOSH HIGGASON
ASSISTANT SET DESIGNER – AMY RUBIN
SOUND CONSULTANT – BRANDON WOLCOTT
CONSULTING BOTANIST – DOUG DALY
PRODUCER – JOEL BASSIN

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